Professor Kathy Ann Mills
Professorial Future Fellow, Australian Research Council
Literacies and Digital Cultures
Areas of expertise: multimodality and multiliteracies; sensory literacies; digital and media practices; writing and literacies pedagogies; socio-cultural, socio-spatial, and socio-material literacy research; critical theory; big data, digital data, and online data
ORCID ID: 0000-0003-1140-3545
Phone: +617 3861 6234
Location: ACU Brisbane Campus
Kathy A. Mills is a Professor of Literacies and Digital Cultures at the Institute for Learning Science and Teacher Education (ILSTE), ACU, Brisbane. Her leading research examines gaps in current knowledge and educational uses of digital media and literacy practices, extending theories of multimodality, multiliteracies, New Literacy Studies, sensory studies, embodiment, and critical literacy. Mills has published over 100 academic works, including award-winning books.
Professor Mills has won five Australian Research Council grants (category 1), including three as a named Fellow, with total category one grant income to date of $2.47 million. Professor Mills currently holds the only Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellowship won in education in 2018, to develop multimodal literacy learning through the senses in primary education nationally and internationally (FT18010009; 2019-2022). She is a chief investigator of an ARC Discovery grant, Coding Animated Narratives as Contemporary Multimodal Authorship in Schools and is an international PI researching critical digital literacies with USN, Norway (NRC).
She has published in high quality journals including Review of Educational Research, Learning, Media and Technology, The Sociological Review, Journal of Second Language Writing, and Teaching and Teacher Education. Her sole-authored 2016 monograph, Literacy Theories for the Digital Age, won the Literacy Research Association's 2016 Edward Fry Book Award, USA. Her lead edited Handbook of Writing, Literacies, and Education in Digital Cultures won the 2017 Divergent Award for Excellence in 21st Century Literacies, USA.
Professor Mills serves on the Editorial Review Board of Qualitative Research (UK), Journal of Literacy Research (Arizona), Written Communication (USA), Language Education (UK), English Teaching Practice and Critique (NZ), and the Australian Journal of Language and Literacy. She has contributed to public debate on literacy through national radio, TV, news media and social media, and assesses research grants in Australia and internationally.
- Mills, K.A., Unsworth, L., & Scholes, L. (2022). Literacy for Digital Futures: Mind, Body, Text. Routledge.
- Mills, K.A. (2019). Big Data for Qualitative Research. Routledge.
- Mills, K. A., Stornaiuolo, A., Smith, A., & Pandya, J. (2018). Handbook of Writing, Literacies, and Education in Digital Cultures. Routledge. https://www.routledge.com/Handbook-of-Writing-Literacies-and-Education-in-Digital-Cultures/Mills-Stornaiuolo-Smith-Pandya/p/book/9781138206335
- Mills, K. A. (2016). Literacy Theories for the Digital Age: Social, Critical, Multimodal, Spatial, Socio-material & Sensory lenses. Multilingual Matters.
- Mills, K.A. (2010). The Multiliteracies Classroom. Multilingual Matters.
Sample journal articles
- Mills, K.A., Scholes, L. & Brown, A. (2022). Virtual reality and embodiment in multimodal meaning making. Written Communication.
- Hagen, A. & Mills, K.A. (2022). Rhythm in literary apps. Visual Communication. https://doi.org/10.1177/14703572221078038.
- Friend, L., Mills, K.A., & Lingard, B. (2022). Globalisation, cultural knowledges and sociomateriality in Middle Eastern education: How the global and local influence classroom practices? Globalisation, Societies and Education. https://doi.org/10.1080/14767724.2021.2016376
- Mills, K.A. & Brown, A. (2021). Immersive virtual reality for digital media making: Transmediation is key, Learning, Media and Technology. https://doi.10.1080/17439884.2021.1052428.
- Friend, L. & Mills, K.A. (2021). Towards a typology of touch in multisensory makerspaces. Learning, Media and Technology. https://doi.org/10.1080/17439884.2021.1928695
- Scholes, L., Mills, K.A. and Wallace, E. (2021). Boys’ gaming identities and opportunities for learning. Learning, Media and Technology. https://doi.org/10.1080/17439884.2021.1936017
- Mills, K.A. & Stone, B. (2020). Multimodal attitude in digital composition: Appraisal in elementary English. Research in the Teaching of English, 55(2), 160–186. https://www.proquest.com/docview/2471515154/C775452BF9864CF5PQ/4?accountid=8194
- Patulny, R, Mills, K.A. Bellocchi, A., Olsen, R., & McKenzie, J. (2020). The emotional tradeoff between meaningful and precarious work in new economies. Special Issue: Meaningful Work, Journal of Sociology, 56(3), 333-355. https://doi.org/10.1177/1440783320934156
- Mills, K. A., Stone, B. G., Unsworth, L., & Friend, L. (2020). Multimodal Language of Attitude in Digital Composition. Written Communication, 37(2) 135–166 https://doi: 10.1177/0741088319897978
- Unsworth, L., & Mills, K. A. (2020). English language teaching of attitude and emotion in digital multimodal composition. Journal of Second Language Writing, 47, 100712. https://doi: 10.1016/j.jslw.2020.100712
- McKenzie, J. E., Patulny, R. A., Bellocchi, A., & Mills, K. A. (2019). Emotion management and solidarity in the workplace: A call for a new research agenda. The Sociological Review. 67(3), 672-688. https://doi.org/10.1177/1440783320934156
- Mills, K. A. & Doyle, K. (2019). Visual arts: A multimodal language for Indigenous education. Language and Education, 33 (6), 521–543. https://doi.org/10.1080/09500782.2019.1635618
- Olson, R. E., McKenzie, J., Mills, K. A., Patulny, R., Bellocchi, A. & Caristo, F. (2019). Gendered emotion management and teacher outcomes in secondary school teaching: A review. Teaching and Teacher Education, 80, 128–144. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2019.01.010
- Pandya, J. P., & Mills, K. A. (2019). Bahktin and the carnival: Humor in school children’s filmmaking. Language and Education, 33(6), 544–559. https://doi.org/10.1080/09500782.2019.1629954
- Australian Research Council, Future Fellowship ID: FT180100009: Mills, KA (Professorial Research Fellow). Sensory Orchestration for Multimodal Literacy Learning in Primary Education; $974, 635 AUD, 2019-2023.
- Australian Research Council, Discovery Scheme Grant ID: DP190100228: Coding Animated Narratives as Contemporary Multimodal Authorship in Schools, Unsworth, L, Mills, K.A. Falloon, G. & Burn A. $442, 609 AUD, 2019-2023.
- Norway Research Council, Critical Digital Literacy in a Global and Textual World, ID 301347. Veum et al., University of South-Eastern Norway, 2020-2023.
- Education Horizon Grant (DET), Future Education: Evidence based innovations for Queensland schooling and workforces, Scholes et al., April 2021-2022.
- Australian Research Council, Linkage Scheme Grant ID: LP150100030: QUT, ACU, Department of Education, Qld, Big Picture Industries Inc., Flagstone, Marsden and Yugumbir State Schools: Mills, K.A. et al. Developing the Multimodal Language of Emotions of Low SES Primary Students. $191, 772 AUD, 2015-2019.
- Australian Research Council, DECRA Fellowship ID: DE140100047: QUT, ACU: Mills, K.A. Developing the Multimodal Literacy Learning of Indigenous Australian Primary Students through Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Being. $395, 218 AUD, 2013-2017.
- Australian Research Council, Linkage Project, Woods et al., and APDI Fellowship Mills, ID: LP0990289. Digital Learning and Print Literacy: A Design Experiment for the Reform of Low Socio-economic, Culturally Diverse Schools. $471, 325 AUD, 2009-2012.
Accolades and awards
- 2018 Divergent Award for Excellence 21st Century Literacies, Oklahoma State
- Edward Fry Book Award 2016, “Literacy Theories for the Digital Age”, Literacy Research Association, USA
- Springer Journal (CSSE) 2016 Best Paper Award, AERA
- ARC Future Fellowship: Developing interdisciplinary methods of sensory orchestration for multimodal literacy learning in primary education nationally and internationally (FT180100009). 2019-2023.
- ARC DECRA Fellowship: Awarded 1 of 5 Discovery Early Career Research Awards nationally in education (DE140100047). 2014-2017.
- ARC Post-Doctoral Fellowship: Awarded 1 of 2 ARC Australian Post-Doctoral (Industry) fellowships nationally in education in 2009 (LP150100030) 2009-2011.
- Vice Chancellor’s Staff Excellence Award 2020, Research & Partnerships, ACU
- Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence 2016, QUT
- Research Excellence Award (x3), 2011, 2013, 2018, QUT
- Publication Achievement Award (x5), 2003, 2011,2012, 2014, 2014, QUT & CHC
- Teaching and Learning Award, 2012
- Outstanding PhD Supervision Award, 2012
- Outstanding Book Award – “The Multiliteracies Classroom”, 2011, QUT
Grant agency review panel
- Assessor, Australian Research Council, 2013-current
- Assessor, Economic and Social Research Council (UK), 2020-current
- Assessor, Czech Science Foundation, Czech Republic, 2012-current
- Professor Mills engages in knowledge transfer via social media, radio broadcasts, online news, and television news.
- Professor Mills' research findings (AJLL, G7#28) about high-stakes testing/NAPLAN led to invited national radio broadcasts on ABC (21/04/14), 5AA (14/08/14), 2SER radio (19/04/14), 4BC 116 News Talk (12/05/15) Melbourne’s 3AW 693 (11/02/16), and on ABC TV (12/15/15).
- Mills' DECRA findings on Indigenous multimodal literacy practices led to a radio interview with ABC's Speaking Out Indigenous program (14/01/15).
- Research on large schools: Canberra Times (06/13), and Channel 9 TV News (25/10/2013).
- Mills’ media outreach also includes coverage in:
- The Conversation: Technology and learning in the classroom: Six tips to get the balance right. February 19, 2019.
- Radio Interviews: Open House; and ABC radio with Kat Feeney.
- Planbook: How to Create a Connected Classroom: Tools, Boundaries and Considerations.
Appointments and affiliations
- Professorial Future Fellow, Australian Research Council and Australian Catholic University (ACU), 2019-current
- Professor of Literacies and Digital Cultures, Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education, ACU, 2016-current
- Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Australia, 2015-2016
- Senior Research Fellow, Australian Research Council and QUT, 2014-2015
- Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Education, QUT, Australia, 2012-2014
- • Lecturer, Faculty of Education, QUT, Australia, 2011-2012
- Australian Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, ARC and QUT, Australia, 2009-2011
- Sessional Lecturer, Christian Heritage College, 2000-2009
- Primary Teacher and Head of Curriculum, Genesis Christian College, 1999-2001
- Primary Teacher, 1995-1998, Nambour Christian College
- Australian Educational Researcher, 2014-2016
International Editorial Review Boards
- Qualitative Research, 2021-current
Written Communication, 2020-current
- English Teaching: Practice and Critique, New Zealand, 2016-current
- Journal of Literacy Research, USA, 2014-current
- Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, Australia, 2014-current
- The Reading Teacher, USA, 2011-2013